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Gering City Band carries on the music tradition
July 09, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

File Photo - The Gering City Band, under the direction of Randy Raines, will present a fun-filled concert on Friday evening at the Five Rocks Amphitheater south of Gering.

The Gering City Band, a local tradition dating back to the Fourth of July in 1887, continues today as band members gather at Five Rocks Amphitheater for a fun-filled evening of classic band music.

The City Band performs Friday evening, July 10 starting at about 8 p.m. The concert is free and the public is invited to attend.
Director Randy Raines said they moved the concert to 8 p.m. so the sun can go down and the area can cool off a bit. Otherwise, the sun is in everyone’s eyes. It also gives members a chance to attend Friday evening’s International Food Fair downtown before the concert.
Raines, who is also the Director of Bands in the Gering Public Schools, is now conducting the City Band for his 19th year. He said they’ve never had a formal theme for the concert in the past; they just play “great stuff.”

This year, the theme is Western Movie and TV Themes.” Some of the featured will include the original suite from the movies The Magnificent Seven, Tombstone, Silverado, Blazing Saddles, the John Wayne movie The Cowboys, and How the West Was Won. Also on the venue will be some Sousa marches and traditional folk songs.
“The band has been well received over the years,” Raines said. “I can’t remember when we haven’t had a standing ovation at any of our concerts.”
The Gering City Band has about 60 members. Like any community band, all its members can’t perform at every concert. Members come from all walks of life and professions.

“It’s really gratifying to see my former students come back and play with us for the summer,” he said. “Many of them are still playing in college. And we have some awesome players from Scottsbluff who also play with us.”

Although there’s no formal agreement involved, it’s been traditional the band director in the Gering schools also conducts the city band in summer. Raines said it might be because the director is involved in the community, knows the people and isn’t busy with a summer band program.

“I really enjoy the camaraderie among the players,” he said. “I have some members who have playing for more than 30 years.”
The Five Rocks concert is the last of the season for the Gering City Band. Each summer, they play several concerts in Gering’s Legion Park, at the West Nebraska Veterans Home, and at other venues.
The concert starts at about 8 p.m. on Friday, July 10 at Five Rocks Amphitheater south of Gering.
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